Hell In A Bucket, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Wang Dang Doodle**, Born On The Bayou*, Green River*, Bad Moon Rising*, Proud Mary*, Truckin'-> The Other One-> Wharf Rat-> Sunshine Daydream, E: Forever Young***, Touch of Grey
"Laughter, Love and Music" memorial for Bill Graham; without Bruce Hornsby; * John Fogerty, guitar and vocals; **John Popper Blues Traveler, harmonica; *** Neil Young, guitar and vocal
Even though they had a complex history with Uncle BoBo, the Dead always respected HAVING a history with someone. The Graham copter accident was a tragedy heard nationwide - even pre-internet. The Dead were an obvious choice for the memoriam in Golden Gate Park (Laughter Love & Music), that technically became one of the biggest sets in band history. The day was special for the hundreds of thousands in attendance. It's one of the band's "historical events". Anybody interested in that aspect might want to view the video. Musically it's not worth the time, on those merits. After Santana, Robin Williams gave respects and did a comedy set , followed by Journey and Tracy Chapman at noon. But the day belonged to CSN&Y who were up before the Dead.
When an event is set up like this, what you get from the Dead is essentially the soundcheck. They played 9 Dead songs, one with John Popper on harmonica, one song backing Neil Young and four backing John Fogerty. It's suspect that some rate this as being as good as Barton '77 or E '72. But then again, some whined that Jefferson Air-Ship didn't play (you wanted to hear We Build This City again? Because that's the only thing they would have agreed to play).
Hellina is off, and it sounds like the monitors are part of the reason - not surprising in a free, open-ended event like this. It was at this point that a plane flew over and dropped thousands of carnations (not cookies, like some hallucinated). This was a gift from the floral purveyors that had worked Graham's events for many years. It must have seemed odd for the 2nd song to be China Cat. They mix it up a little bit; maybe because of the 2pm slot in the park, or because it was for Bill G. It's an average version, but because Bobby stops (or is missing) in sections and the mix is heavy on Vince, it sounds different. They're playing with their backs against a wall sound wise, and trying to hold it together. The cracks start to show. Phil loses his place in Rider and jumps ahead with lyrics, until Bobby cues him. The set's a bit of a trainwreck so far, but Jer does get in some nice licks. There's a pause to try to fix the mix and to let Popper come out with a mic [Oh no! Anybody but King Bleat!]. Wang Dang Doodle is tepid, but Popper plays polite. Out comes John Fogerty, and the Dead back him, but they mostly just vamp and nobody really jams or adds anything to the songs, being very tentative. It's the same four songs they played with him at a show in '89. They first lock a groove on Green River. Jer starts to play a bit on Bad Moon Rising, and Phil perks up, but Vince does best (as throughout the set).
Back to the Dead, going into Truckin' Jer warns to keep the tempo in check, as he often did, but the funny thing is here he calls out "Not too slow... not too fast either!". Bobby's guitar was unfortunately too low on this song/date. The Other One is the best of the set and the only one that's up to average for '91. Sunshine Daydream concludes the Sugar Mag from 4 shows earlier, that opened the previous week's 4-day run at Oakland. But it's muffed-by-surprise. Bobby tells Jer he's taking the next one and Jer stops playing to wait, but instead of telling anyone else, Bobby just starts abruptly - off mic, no less, leaving all confused for a moment. Aside from that mini-trainwreck (and another at the end), the middle has nice Jer work (at which point Bobby is out of tune). As it concludes and Bobby runs off stage, Jer shrugs at Mickey, who says "I didn't know he was gonna do that either!" Mickey then teases Bobby: "Oh is it over?". But Neil is getting plugged in...so... Bobby returns and they back Neil on his version of Forever Young. Jer had covered this with JGB, but he still plays as if he's caught out. Very shakey [wink]. Touch of Grey is even more tepid.
Overall = 1½ stars (just the nine Dead songs, otherwise one star)
Nope. Way better on paper.
SOURCES: There are many different feeds out there, including FM, pre-FM, SBD and of course AUD. The miller_107797 is the best by a margin. The bootleg_19292 is pre-FM; sounds like the monitor mix. The kome_34912i is the noisy FM broadcast. The vid is on YouTube. Even if this were a good performance it could not be officially released in whole.
May 27, 2015 Subject:
This show is highlighted in Rolling Stones article
April 4, 2012 Subject:
Free concert to honor Bill Graham
This is the "Laughter, Love and Music" concert in memory of Bill Graham who had just died the week before leaving a Heuy Lewis concert along with 3 other people. 350-500,000 people showed up to a concert that had no listing of who would be playing - pretty incredible tribute to the man
January 13, 2011 Subject:
Free video of this free concert